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11 January 2018, 12:28 | Vera Richards
Finance: Here's why cryptocurrencies are getting smoked on Monday
Bitcoin was one of the currencies to sink when CoinMarketCap, one of the industry's most prominent global indexes, carried out the move without any warning, resulting in a steep drop in all virtual coins they track.
Rippleprices fell roughly 25% Monday to $2.50, leading a broader sell-off in the cryptocurrency markets.
'Every crypto is priced at a 30 percent premium in South Korea, ' said Greg Dwyer, head of business development at cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMex.
Observers increasingly are questioning the value of various cryptocurrencies, and the 20% plunge in Ripple on January 8 shows that significant risk exists. That pushed Ripple's market capitalization down to $98.5 billion, and lifted Ethereum's value to $111.9 billion, according to data firm CoinMarketCap.
XRP is down 11% over the last 24 hours, while bitcoin and ethereum are down 7% and 2%, respectively.
The Cboe futures contract for January had hit an intraday low of $14,560, before recovering to $15,040 at the time of writing.
On Monday, South Korean regulators inspected six local banks that offered cryptocurrency accounts to see if they were observing anti-money laundering rules. Ripple is now trading at around $3.30 on the three platforms, well above the market average compiled by Coinmarketcap.
Then, CoinMarketCap, a major source of information in the crypto world, made a decision to remove data from South Korean exchanges in its calculation of asset prices.
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Cryptocurrency prices tend to be much higher on South Korean exchanges because of huge demand and monetary restrictions in that country, analysts said.
Cryptocurrencies trade at a premium in South Korea because "it's very hard to get cash out of the country", Dwyer explained.
The year 2017 may forever be known on Wall Street as the year of bitcoin.
"You can look at it two ways and say Coinmarketcap taking Korean prices out of their averages makes the performance of bitcoin and cryptos look worse than they otherwise would, [but] the flip side is that in the past they weren't reporting them accurately".
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